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M113 TUA Conversion Set

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This is a build review of the new Legend Productions LF1281 M113 TUA Conversion Set. The conversion consists of 64 resin parts and 130 photo etched parts. The conversion is designed to be paired with the Academy M113A2 kit or the Tamiya M113A2/M113A3 kits, however, you can use one of the other Academy M113 based kits as long as it includes the external fuel tanks such as the Academy M981 FIST-V.

The tracks in your donor M113 kit of choice will have to be changed to Diehl tracks. The Diehl tracks are not included in the conversion. This type of track was found on all Canadian M113A2 Tow Under Armour vehicles. HKCW made a set of M113 Diehl tracks and AFV Club also makes a set. The Perfect Scale Modellbau M113 513B Diehl track is a newer version however and not correct for the M113A2 TUA.

My review build blog will stick to the contents included in the conversion set. There will be no exchanging parts, no adding other aftermarket parts, no additional detailing, and no painting. Those considering building this conversion can assess the need to add additional details based on their skills, abilities, and desire. Where applicable I will provide recommendations for further detailing and options for the build. The Canadian M113A2 TUA was modified over the time period of its service and all of the details included in the conversion may not be applicable depending on the timeline and location of deployment. After reading this, if you have questions, please ask, or if you have additional points to add regarding the conversion or the actual vehicle, please do so.

Legend Productions has done a great job of showing the completed conversion in NATO camouflage on their site. The Legend Productions conversion resin castings at first, second, and third glance are amazingly detailed. They are truly some of the finest resin castings I have seen.

Background to the M113
I have had the fortune of working with the M113A2 TUA on exercises in Canada, as part of my old Regiment during an UNPROFOR deployment, and a very nicely restored M113A2 TUA is a 10 minute drive from my house for instant reference. The Canadian use of M113 for anti-tank / anti-armour purposes dates back to the 1960s with the mounting of the M40 106 mm Recoilless Rifle with the M79 mount on Canadian M113A1s. This was followed by Canadian M113A1s with dual post mounted SS-11B anti-tank missiles. Both the M40 and the SS-11B missiles were used on Canadian M113A1s until the 1970s when they were replaced in the Regular Force Army by the M113A1 TOW missile carrier.

From about 1976 the M113A1 and later M113A2 (external fuel tanks added) TOW missile carriers formed the brunt of the Anti-Armour Defence Platoons within the Infantry Battalions. The TOW missile launcher was pedestal mounted on the M113 hull and could be raised through the top hatch to the firing position. While having a relatively low silhouette, the crew was exposed to direct and indirect enemy fire while in the firing /tracking position. Another limitation was that only one missile was ready for firing at any given time.

Norway had fielded the NM142 based on the M113 hull paired with the Kvaerner Eureka Armoured Launching Turret. The turret has two TOW missile launchers on either side of the gunner's turret. The turret provided the gunner with armoured protection and an elevated platform from which tactical hull down positions could be obtained in order to maximize cover and line of sight for tracking the missile to the intended target. Canada created 72 M113A2 TOW Under Armour carriers using the Kvaerner Eureka turret on a modified M113A2 hull and put them into service in 1990. I believe the Kvaerner Eureka turrets were built in Canada under licence and the M113A2s modified accordingly. For a period of time they served alongside the M113A2 pedestal mounted TOW carriers.

The M113A2 TOW served in Canada, Germany, Croatia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. The vehicles were highly feared and despised by belligerent forces during deployments and at least one M113A2 TUA was destroyed by enemy fire during the UNPROFOR mission. Over the period of service the vehicles did receive modifications which I will speak to, along with some technical aspects as the build progresses.

About the Author

About Jason Bobrowich (LeoCmdr)
FROM: ALBERTA, CANADA


Comments

As always Jason nice and precise work and assessment on this product and a good finished product.
NOV 29, 2014 - 08:00 PM
Excellent article, thank you for the detailed build information and great photos.
NOV 30, 2014 - 07:42 AM
A perfect example how the build article should look like. Thanks Jason for all the info provided and absolutely great photos. Mario
NOV 30, 2014 - 01:21 PM
Excellent review of a great kit. It builds up nicely
DEC 11, 2014 - 01:01 PM
I just got mine and it's a great conversion. Wish they hadn't molded the TOW tubes sloped down though.
MAY 08, 2015 - 07:31 AM
No one BETTER to build a Canadian GEM like this than a Canadian
JUN 17, 2016 - 10:04 AM